No silver bullet for COVID-19 – WHO warns

—worldwide cases now at 17.5M

—China probe moves one step ahead

DPI, Guyana, Monday, August 3, 2020

On Monday, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced that several vaccines to prevent the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have moved to Phase Three clinical trials.

Despite the good news, Dr. Tedros said that the harsh reality is that the ability of the vaccine to prevent the disease, may never come to fruition; and as such focus should not be taken off of current public health protocols.

“There’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be. For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control.”

The WHO recommended continued testing, isolating and treating patients, and tracing and quarantining their contacts, as well as, informing and empowering communities.

Highlighting the magnitude of the spread of the disease, he said that each person must accept the individual responsibility to protect themselves and those around them by adhering to protocols such as social distancing and wearing masks.

In January, there were less than 100 cases and no deaths outside of China, where the virus was said to have originated. Now there are 17.5 million novel coronavirus cases worldwide and deaths are at 680,000.

“It’s never too late to turn this pandemic around. If we act together today, we can save lives, we can save livelihoods if we do it all together,” the Director-General said.

Dr. Tedros also announced that the advance team sent to China in July to probe the origins of COVID-19 has completed laying the groundwork and WHO is pleased to move on to the next step.

WHO and Chinese experts have drafted the Terms of Reference for the studies of an international team of scientist and researchers, led by WHO.

Epidemiological studies will begin in Wuhan to identify the source of infection of the early cases and data generated from the studies will then be used for long-term studies.